This month I am very excited to join in a celebration of the Children’s Book Illustration Autumn Exhibition. I was given the opportunity to ask the fantastic Marcia Williams some questions and discover some of her inspirations. Over the years I have built up a lovely collection of her books so I was very excited to get this opportunity to find out a little bit more about her! It also gives me a chance to share some of my favourites!
Marcia Williams is well known for her distinctive cartoon-strip style and she has written numerous books retelling classics stories, Shakespeare’s Tales and one of my favourites ‘Three Cheers for Inventors’ which is a wonderful way to look at inventors in history. Her bright and colourful pictures are humorous and it is one of those books that the children (and myself!) can’t help but pore over. When discussing her book ‘Ancient Egypt, Tales of Gods and Pharaohs’ she says, “I always think of the Ancient Egyptians as the first comic strip artists, which is probably why I so enjoyed working on the Egyptian tomb paintings in my book, Ancient Egypt, Tales of Gods and Pharaohs. It was fascinating to have the chance to interpret this unique style, adding my own quirks and humour. It feels very atmospheric and surreal to me, as though the pictures themselves take on the ancient beliefs and powers of the gods!”
I was also lucky enough to get to ask Marcia some questions!
Daylight Explorers- I am a bit geeky about desks! What is your desk space like?
Marcia Williams- My desk space is an old kitchen table. I have extended it and extended it again, but still it seems too small. Piles of books, glue, paint, brushes and bits mount up, so that I have trouble finding enough work space.
Daylight Explorers- We love exploring at the Daylight Explorers- where is your favourite place to explore?
Marcia Williams- My favourite place to explore is the beach near Lyme Regis.
Daylight Explorers- How did you get started as a writer and illustrator?
Marcia Williams- I went to a boarding school when I was very young and every Sunday we had to write a letter to our parents. I hated writing letters, so I wrote and illustrated stories instead. I loved doing these and just never stopped.
Daylight Explorers- Do you have any writing quirks?
Marcia Williams- I spend a great deal of time walking my dogs when I am in a writing phase. I like to think that it is ‘thinking time’ but I am not really sure!
Daylight Explorers- If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?
Marcia Williams- Difficult to collaborate with comic strips, but probably a class of school children. When I do workshops in schools the children are always so inventive, they always inspire me!
Thank you Marcia for sharing some of your thoughts and answers! The exhibition takes place Friday 23rd October – Thursday 29th October 2015, 10am – 6.30pm Mon-Sat. 11am – 4pm Sunday. “Our gallery comes offline for a magical exhibition featuring the original published artwork from some of the nation’s favourite children’s books.
You can come along and view the artwork in the Waterstones Jermyn St Cafe at any time during normal shop opening hours.”
Come back in a few days for a closer look at some of Marcia’s books!